Louder Than Bombs

louderthanbombs

 

In 1987, The Smiths released their forth album, fifth if you count Hatful of Hollow, to complete their obligation to Rough Trade. The Band’s plan was to upgrade from Britain’s biggest independent record label (Rough Trade) to Britain’s biggest major record label EMI. The World Won’t Listen in the UK (and its counter punch Louder Than Bombs in the US) would complete the deal. It would also make a lot of noise around the controversial single Panic which was taken (unfoundedly) to be racist and homophobic by some of the listening audience in the UK. Like Hatful of Hollow, ‘Bombs’ was a collection of singles, B-sides and previously released material packaged and repackaged. What’s interesting here is to hear the new singles like Panic, written in part as commentary to the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident, and the highly danceable Ask, juxtaposition to the older singles like William, It Was Really Nothing and Hand in Glove. You can really see how the earlier singles are less produced with the crisp sparkling guitar of Marr shining through to compliment and enhance Morrissey’s baritone vocals. The newer songs in some respect lose that twinkle. This album also houses some Smith’s classics like Unloveable, the brilliant Rubber Ring, and Asleep.

New and old, 24 songs in all, Louder Than Bombs clocks in at 1.2 hours.

Enjoy!

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REO for TPK

REO Speedwagon

 

R.E.O. / T.W.O.

You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish

 

 

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Edgar Winter’s White Trash

edgar winter

 

Last night I went to bed with Edgar Winter. This morning I woke up with White Trash. My trip down Tobacco Road was seasoned with Cream, a little Kashmir, and a pinch of Red Hot Chili Peppers. For those of us who remember, The Edgar Winter Group is all but gone, but the Edgar Winter Band plays on. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of his monster album, They Only Come Out At Night, the 67 year old white haired rocker “Gave it everything he’s got” with a 90 minute Frankenstein of a show. My ears will be ringing for a while, that’s for sure.

Edgar Winter’s White Trash came out in 1971 and is 43 minutes of pure rock & roll boogie-woogie funk. Enjoy!

5.1 4.1

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The Queen Is Dead

thesmithsqueen

 

Oscar Wilde meets Frankie and goes to Hollywood. In Today’s Runner Johnny Marr’s stellar guitar is stronger than ever complementing Morrissey’s morose dialog to create this sweet and tart book of poetry.  Marr not only has written and arranged all the music here, but he has also taken control of the album’s production, working along side Stephen Street, the band’s recording engineer.

“Don’t forget I’m still only 21. I really do believe that Johnny Marr and The Smiths have many many years ahead of them and plenty of surprises in store. I can never see myself working with anybody else.”

Johnny Marr, Melody Maker, August 1985

That may have been the sentiment as The Smiths went into the studio to begin recording this, their third album, The Queen is Dead, but the ball of yarn had already begun to unravel. On the European and North American Tour in the spring and summer of 1985, the inner circle of the Smiths was showing cracks. Morrissey’s increasingly erratic, callous behavior, was beginning to take toll on the crew, management and other three playing band members. Marr had consistently covered for, and given in to, Morrissey’s wishes up to this point, but the band’s lack of management had made for some bad decisions. Key members of the group’s team were cast aside or under the tour bus. By the time the group entered the studio in late summer, several key members of the inner circle were gone, and the band’s label Rough Trade, the engine for their initial success, had been given its walking papers. Drug problems and litigation between Rough Trade and the band would hold up the release of this record for months, but finally in June of 1986 the Smith’s watershed album hit the stores.

“A dreaded sunny day, so let’s go where we’re wanted and I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates, Keats and Yeats are on your side, but you lose, because where the love of Wilde is on mine”

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A Quick One

The_Who-A_Quick_One

 

In August 1967 Keith Moon decided to celebrate his 21st birthday early by throwing a party at a midwest Holiday Inn. After trashing several rooms, helping a Lincoln Continental find its way into the hotel swimming pool, and knocking out his own teeth, the members of The Who were banned from the hotel chain for life. That same year, Pete Townshend says he found God in his room at a Holiday Inn in Rolling Meadows Illinois. Now I’ve been to that Holiday Inn. I won’t  say what I was doing there, but it wasn’t lying in a vibrating bed with the TV on listening to the sounds of suburban road noises out the open window, which is probably why Meher Baba didn’t come to me.

The Who was touring behind their second album The Who A Quick One; one of the few early records in which every member, even Moon, contributed to the writing. They were competing with the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and Cream who were riding the psychedelic wave of the mid sixties, and Townshend who was in the process of shedding his Mod alter ego was feeling a bit lost and left behind. It would be a full year until he would pen the band’s break out record the rock opera Tommy.

The Who A Quick One is filled with the signature pop sound the band was known for at the time. Short 2 to 3 minute songs surrounded by buzz and feedback from Townshend’s muscular guitar trials. The album suffers a bit from the production of the day, but all-in-all it is a fine run when listened to on headphones. It exemplifies the first incarnation of one of the greatest rock bands of all times.

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